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268 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY I find part of a footnote of M very helpful: "It seems sometimes that, for Schelling, God could have been content with the possibility of Creation (his Wisdom) because, in creation, he knew himself already as distinct from his necessary being. But, in that case, would not the generation of the Son also have remained a mere possibility? This is a delicate point over which our author slides rapidly" (M 537n). In my query I find the myth of the always future Messiah more in line with our human condition than the exorbitant Incarnation and Vicarious Atonement. In mythological form the Messiah is future; in historical fact he is always present in the prophets. The Old Testament piety manifest in humbly doing the Will of God requires no reward; the privilege of service is the wage paid us even before we have performed. It is a Christian misinterpretation of that humble piety (which Jesus of Nazareth stressed) to say that "in the obedience to the law, without hope, the mind will experience the vanity of our work" (M 539). Only self-serving work is hopeless, since it is done only for the sake of reward, which is contingent. I fail to see what is specifically Christian in the following statement which ScheUing may have written as late as 1836 (S, X, 225): "One could well say that God is really nothing in itself; he is nothing but relation and pure relation, for he is only the Lord; everything we superadd turns him into mere substance. He really exists, as it were, for no purpose other than being Lord of being [Herr des Seins]. He is the only nature not concerned with itself, rid of itself and therefore absolutely free. (Everything substantial is concerned with itself, constrained by itself and unfree.) God alone has nothing to do with himself. He is sui securus, sure of himself and therefore rid of himself, and consequently concerned only with other entities. One might say he is wholly out o/himself, therefore free of himself, and consequently the one who liberates everything else" (S, X, 2600. I do not imply that there is a break at 1836. I know that Schelling calls the contingent empirical leap into one revelation "positive" because he sees it as posited by an act of God. I would call it one of the mythological manifestations which, I agree, are a serious topic for philosophical study, the kind of study furthered by our two books. University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville FRITZ MARTI Images of Society: Essays on the Sociological Theories o/Tocqueville, Marx and Darkheim . By Gianfranco Poggi. (Stanford: Stanford University Press; London: Oxford University Press, 1972. Pp. xv + 255. $8.95) This volume, by a Reader in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, consists of nine essays, together with a brief Introduction, distributed as follows: three are devoted to Tocqueville ("The Aristocratic Order," "The Democratic Order," '~'he Old Regime"); two to Marx ('~he Nature of Social Reality," '~['be Theory of Modern Society"); and four to Durkheim ("A Typology of Societies," '~'he Primacy of Norms," "Religion and the Theory of Institutions," "Some Critical Remarks"). The essays derive from lectures on some of the sociological masters--the listing also includes Weber, $immel, and Pareto--but no substantial reasons are offered as to why these three particular men, rather than the other three or other possible combinations, were selected for inclusion in the volume. Indeed, on first inspection, the volume appears to lack any unifying theme or structure, nor does the author specify any unity explicitly, and the separate essays for the most part remain separate. This impression of lack of focus is reinforced by the fact that relatively few comparisons are made among the three theorists, and such as occur are more desultory than systematic. However, it is suggested (p. 85) that the central issues of sociological theory are: "What is the nature of modern society? How is society possible?" Using these questions as an implicit frame of reference it becomes dear that Tocquevill9 was largely BOOK REVIEWS 269 concerned with the first question, Durkheim with the second, and Marx with both. Such, at least, is one...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 268-273
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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